Thursday, July 18, 2024


Although some of its core Asian markets are weaker, Honda’s motorcycle business growth in the three quarters of its fiscal year to date appeared unstoppable. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Nine-monthly revenue from bikes rose by 6.1% to £11.323bn. Operating profit for the sector was 16.3% up to £1.734bn. Operating margin improved from 14% to 15.3%.

Global wholesale shipment volume during the period climbed by 5.9% to an all-time record of 15.68 million Honda-branded motorcycles, scooters and ATVs. About two-thirds of these were manufactured by wholly-owned subsidiaries.

In the developed world, European sales were 4.6% up to 181,000. Domestic Japanese performance improved by 24.6% to 157,000. But North America was 6.9% down at 216,000.

Asian countries accounted for the vast majority of sales, boasting a 5.4% increase to 14.187 million bikes. Within that, Honda’s four biggest markets were responsible for 11.36 million of them.

India led the field on 4.49 million. But that represented only 2.5% growth — an indicator of how expansion there is slowing due to tighter consumer credit availability. Indonesia recovered tremendously, adding 11.4% to 3.69 million. And Vietnam was 13.1% up at 2.095 million. However, Thailand declined by 2.1% to 1.086 million. In other regions, mainly Latin American countries, sales improved by 15.1% to 939,000.

In response, Honda has reduced its full-year shipment forecast by 2.2% to 20.4 million, which still represents a 4.3% year-on-year improvement. Its forecast for Europe has been raised, though, by 2.1% to 245,000, while North America has been downgraded by 3.1% to 310,000.  



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